Harwich Town Council

The Guildhall,
Church Street,
Harwich. CO12 3DS

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Allotments Minutes 14th November 2011

MINUTES of the Meeting of the ALLOTMENTS COMMITTEE
held at The Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich
on Monday 14th November 2011 commencing at 7pm

Present: Cllrs C Callender, Gibbins, J Henderson, McLeod, Todd
In the Chair: Cllr King
Co-opted Members: Mr M Button, Miss J Clark, Mr W McCoy, Mr S O’Hara, Mr Steward

Clerk: Assistant Clerk Mrs M Townsend

Also present: Cllrs Brown and Thurlow, Town Clerk Mrs L Ballard and 2 members of the public
Absent: Mr F Mesha

The Chair reminded members of the public that 15 minutes are available for questions and that any questions raised should be in relation to items on the agenda only. Cllr King asked if there were any questions from members of the public.
No questions.

A27/11 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies received from Cllr O’Neill and Co-opted Member Mr N Inglis

A28/11 DECLARATIONOF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
None.

A29/11 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Allotments meeting held on 5th September 2011 (previously circulated) be approved by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a true record.

A30/11 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
The Chair confirmed that Plot 5 King Georges Avenue has now been let and well worked.

The Assistant Clerk confirmed that there had been no confirmed interest noted for the Allotment Association hut situated on the Dunns Meadow allotment site following Mr Hyde’s retirement. Cllr McLeod summarised the options of either advertising in the local press for someone within the horticultural society to take it on or demolish the hut to make way for another plot. Concerns were raised by Cllr Henderson with reference to the work and cost for the necessary repairs to the hut.
RESOLVED: to obtain cost for demolition.

A31/11 VACANT PLOTS/WAITING LIST/NOTICES TO QUIT
The Assistant Clerk informed members of 3 vacant plots, which are currently under offer, 45 people on the waiting list and 1 Notice to Quit issues since the last meeting.

A32/11 WATER RATES
The Chair confirmed that currently the water rates are split evenly between tenants on each site with no distinction made between the varying size of plots and would welcome suggestions for other methods of calculation. Cllr McLeod suggested a two tier charge for plots of 6-10 rods and 1-5 rods although Cllr Todd felt a fairer system of calculation would be per rod. Mr Button recommended that we seek the views of all allotment holders and defer this item until the next meeting.
RESOLVED: Co-opted Members to seeks views of their allotment holders and report findings at the next meeting. Water rates to be added to the next agenda.

A33/11 Mr Wood, a member of the public interrupted proceedings with questions relating to the previous minute (A32/11) and requested to suspend the meeting to discuss his views. The Chair declined his request and informed Mr Wood that he had the opportunity to discuss his views at the beginning of the meeting in the allotted 15
minutes question time. Following a number of further interruptions, the meeting was adjourned at 7.16pm until order was restored or Mr Wood left the meeting.

7.18pm – meeting recommenced.

A34/11 PONDS
The Assistant Clerk circulated proposed guidance on Good Practice for ponds on allotments and welcomed any feedback. Members perused and discussed guidance and how best to make tenants aware of these.
RESOLVED: to create a poster and display at all sites.

A35/11 WILLOW WAY
The Chair felt the Willow Way currently, did not have clearly defined plots and pathways and wished to gain feedback from other members. Miss J Clark, the Coopted Member for Willow Way felt that although the boundaries of each plot may have increased slightly, it did not pose a problem. An offer was made by the Assistant Clerk to produce laminated plots numbers to help identification but it was felt these would not be weather proof. Cllr Brown commented that marker posts with painted numbers would be more suitable but due to cost would not be feasible. Following Cllr Henderson clarifying that it is the plot holders responsibly to clearly mark their plot, Mr Button suggested all Co-opted Members liaise with tenants and request plots to be numbered.
RESOLVED: Co-opted Members to request all plots to be numbered.

A36/11 REPORTS OF CO-OPTED MEMBERS
M Button confirmed that there was nothing to report on Boatswains Call. He has agreed to put up a poster for a lady who is making soup for the Salvation Army and would welcome any spare vegetables.

Mr Steward confirmed all was ok at Abdy Avenue except that Plot 2 tenant has not started work on their plot.

Miss Clark confirmed nothing to report but was awaiting costings for a notice board which would need to be freestanding as there is nowhere to fix a notice board to.
RESOLVED: Assistant Clerk to gain further quotations for a notice board on stands.

Mr O’Hara confirmed all is ok and chased quotations for the repair of fencing.

Mr McCoy informed members that one of the plot holders on Long Meadows has requested 3 keys. Cllr McLeod confirmed that plot holders are responsible for their keys and therefore keys are only for their benefit and not family members.

A37/11 MATTERS RECEIVED IN POST
Plot 7 Redoubt – Appeal by tenant
Assistant Clerk gave brief details of previous correspondence in relation to the removal of the willow and buddleia on the plot. Members discussed recent NTQ and appeal by tenant. Cllr Henderson felt that the previous background should be taken into consideration and proposed that we support the representative and uphold the NTQ.
RESOLVED: unanimous vote to uphold

Plot 10 Redoubt – tenant request
Assistant Clerk informed members of the pre NTQ and subsequent request from the plot holder to keep their tenancy and assurance to clear and recultavate the plot over the winter.
RESOLVED: unanimous vote to permit the tenant to keep their plot on the
understanding that the plot is to be cleared by the end February 2012.

A38/11 BUDGETS 2012/13
The Chair gave brief update on budget spent year to date and the proposed budget for 2012/13. Cllr McLeod concurred that there was a requirement to keep reserves up to allow for future improvents to the allotments.

GROUNDS MAINTENANCE – 2000

WATER RATES – 2800

RESERVE FUND – 1500 (plus transfer any under spend)

RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND: proposed budgets agreed for 2012/13 as written

A39/11 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Allotments Committee will be held at 7pm on Tuesday 10th January 2012 at The Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 8pm

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